mls

MLS to use points per game to determine final 2020 regular season standings

With multiple MLS clubs set to finish the 2020 regular season without playing a full 23-match schedule due to COVID-19, Major League Soccer confirmed that qualification for the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs will be determined by points per game.

Points per game will also be used to determine the overall MLS standings, with the top U.S.-based team earning a berth in the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League. (Canadian clubs earn qualification to the Champions League via the Canadian Championship.)

Based on points per game, several standings positions have been updated in both the Eastern and Western Conference. Also, Minnesota United have mathematically clinched a spot in the Audi 202 MLS Cup Playoffs.

Standings Tiebreakers

The standings tiebreaking procedures will also be calculated on a per match basis:

  1. Total number of wins per match played;
  2. Goal Differential (GD) per match played;
  3. Goals For (GF) per match played;
  4. Fewest disciplinary points per match played;
  5. Away Goal Differential per away match played; 
  6. Away Goals For per away match played;
  7. Home Goal Differential per home match played;
  8. Home Goals For per home match played;
  9. Coin toss (tie between two clubs) or drawing of lots (tie between three or more clubs)

Since all MLS is Back Tournament matches in Florida, including the three rescheduled matches between FC Dallas and Nashville SC, are considered as played at a neutral site, they are not factored in determining tiebreakers Nos. 5-8 that feature away and home goals.

Regular season wraps Nov. 8

Prior to resuming the regular season in home markets in August, the league had indicated it would use points per game to determine playoff qualifiers in the case clubs played an uneven number of matches. While the 14 Eastern Conference teams are on track to complete all 23 regular season matches, the 12 Western Conference teams will not finish the regular season with the same number of matches played.

The following six postponed matches will not be rescheduled and the league confirmed that the regular season will end on Decision Day presented by AT&T on Sunday, November 8, with no matches scheduled after this date during the FIFA international window: 

  • Colorado Rapids vs. Sporting KC (originally scheduled Sept. 27 and Oct. 21)
  • Colorado Rapids vs. LAFC (originally scheduled for Oct. 7)
  • Colorado Rapids vs. LA Galaxy (originally scheduled for Oct. 10)
  • Seattle Sounders vs. Colorado Rapids (originally scheduled for Oct. 14)
  • Minnesota United vs. FC Dallas (originally scheduled for Oct. 14)
  • Colorado Rapids vs. Real Salt Lake (originally scheduled for Oct. 18)